Patience, Rest

Dumpster Diving


As newly-weds, my husband and I decided to apply for our first credit card. This was when having a credit card wasn’t as commonplace as it is today; my kids would call the process “old school.” Long applications had to be filled out by hand at the bank and it would take some time (compared to today’s process) to get approved and actually receive a credit card. We endured everything that was required of us and the day came when, finally, the card came in the mail.

Like most people I suppose, we had a place on the kitchen counter that grew cluttered with the mail and other miscellaneous “paperage.” That place on the counter slowly began to eat away at my inner peace, as at my core I am my mother’s daughter. She was careful to always keep a clean home and instilled in me that same compulsion: if it’s cluttered it must be cleared.

This compulsion, you might call it haste or impatience, has been the source of irritation to my family. Some, I agree, is justified, and some is not. However, the account of what happened during one of my cleaning moments did result in a great amount of stress and dumpster diving.

Let me explain…

The cards came in the mail and we were aware they had arrived and were in the envelope they came in on the counter. Days passed and I put that information in the back of my mind as I was compelled, as if by the Spirit, to embark on “the great clean” of the century. That day nothing escaped my fury as even the oven received a state-of-the-art scrubbing! Proud of myself, I unloaded the last bag of trash into the dumpster outside (one shared by the community we lived in), and sat down for a cup of coffee. My mother would have even declared the place clean and with that thought, I smiled with a bit of smug self-satisfaction.

Later on the next day, my husband looked to the countertop and noticed the customary pile of post had disappeared.

“Where’s the credit card?” he said with an unmistakable tone of worry.

“It was here on the counter in the envelope.” his voice beginning to quiver.

“I don’t know, didn’t you put them away?” came my honest reply.

Thus began the search of the century that ended with my husband standing up in the dumpster for several minutes going through the trash until he found said credit card, still in its original (albeit stained with coffee) envelope. While this happened over 30 years ago, I have yet to cease being reminded of it.

While I was thankful to have the card in hand, in the fury of our search, we ruined my hours-long cleaning effort and I had to clean up all over again.

I was hasty and I blew it.

Psalm 31:22 TLB “I spoke too hastily when I said, ‘The Lord has deserted me,’ for you listened to my plea and answered me.”

We often become impatient with the circumstances of life, we want answers now! Our impatience clouds our ability to see that God’s given us the credit cards already, and He’s paid the bill. They’re on the counter of life, ready to be used to pay off our debts but we seem to have misplaced them, thrown them away in the dumpster. In our haste, we wonder why God hasn’t come through, why doesn’t He see, doesn’t He care? Right when we are sure He has turned His back on us, in spite of our hastily spoken words, He comes through with an answer – and gently hands us the cards we threw away in our compulsion to get things in order.

Yes, we all blow it and say things we shouldn’t and even begin to wonder about God’s love and care for us. While we may fail, we can be encouraged with the knowledge that God’s love and care never fails, in spite of our baseless doubts. He is always watchful over us in spite of what life may throw our way.

Don’t throw away the credit cards just for a moment of apparent clarity – the clarity we create in our haste only lasts for a moment only to be replaced once again by more clutter as life continues to unfold. However, if you do blow it (as we all do) our Father is more than ready to go dumpster diving and answer you.

Yes, He is just that good.

4 thoughts on “Dumpster Diving”

  1. Hi Lea, I loved the articles and my heart hurt for what you must’ve gone through and what you must’ve felt as Pastor Jaime went through the dumpster!! Around my house we have similar situations when important paperwork is put away “safely”. Then when Steven needs the document and begins to ask where is the paper and suddenly it cannot be found. My anxiety begins to mount and I am full of guilt! What I now do is when there’s an important paper and it is ready to be put away I lift it up in the air and say here’s the paper and bring my husband with me to where the paper will be stored and say here it will be stored. That way there are two responsible parties for finding this paper when it is needed again! LOL Much love! Yolie

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Thank you Pastor Lea for sharing this story. A few years ago I lost someone dear to me and I thought God had left me, to the point I said it, even in prayer to God Himself… Smiling on the outside, asking God why have You LORD left me. On my ours of desperate prayers He spoke to me, that was the moment I knew He would never leave me. No matter what. I repented for doubting Him. Lessons from The Great Teacher, reminds me of Matthew 27:46 “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).
    God bless you
    Sherly Otero

  3. I love the article! Oh boy do I ever feel terrible when I throw something away I’ll be importance or misplace it as is often the case, and Steven begins to ask where is that paper!! It’s happened so often that now when an important paper arrives and is to be put away I lift it up in the air and say now you see here’s the paper and now you see where it’s going to be put away and that way I never have to worry that it will be forgotten because now the two of I know where it is! ❤️💜🙎🏻

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